Normally at a discount to Light Louisiana Sweet, Platts assessed WTI MEH on Friday at its highest premium to the regional sweet crude benchmark since mid-January.
Exportability from the US Gulf Coast has served to prop up MEH, which represents WTI Midland crude at the Magellan East Houston Terminal. In the past week, a regional trader was heard to have purchased WTI Midland crude for export to Europe.
In the past week, LLS has been pressured downward from decreased demand as LyondellBasell reduced operating capacity to 75% at its Houston refinery to allow for repairs at its fire-damaged facility.
Assessed at WTI cash plus $1.45/b, WTI MEH was at a 45 cent/b premium to regional sweet benchmark LLS on Friday. For the first four months of the year, LLS has typically been at a premium to the Permian crude, with LLS averaging a premium of 23 cents/b in January, 42 cents/b in February, 35 cents/b in March and 26 cents/b to date in April.
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